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Carbon neutral island development proposed for Azerbaijan

Consultants Ramboll and BIG architects have created a 1,000,000 m2 masterplan for a carbon neutral resort and residential masterplan on Zira Island in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan.

Zira Island is designed to be a self contained island that is entirely independent of external resources.

The buildings of the island will be heated and cooled by heat pumps connecting to the surrounding Caspian Sea. Solar heat panels integrated in the architecture will create a steady supply of hot water, while photovoltaics on strategically located facades and roof tops power daytime functions as swimming pools and aqua parks.

Waste water and storm water will be collected and led to a waste water treatment plant, where it is then cleaned, processed and recycled for irrigation. The solid parts of the waste water are processed and composted and finally turned into top soil, fertilizing the island. The constant irrigation and fertilizing of the island supports the lush green condition of a tropical island, with a minimal ecological footprint.

By harvesting the wind energy through an offshore wind farm, the island will have its own CO2-neutral power supply.

"Zira Island will be an important step into the future of urban development in Caucasus and Central Asia," said Ramboll Buildings & Design Group Director Lars Ostenfeld Riemann.

"By help of the wind, the sun and the waste the Island will produce the same amount of energy as it consumes. In a society literately built on oil this will serve as a showcase for a new way of thinking sustainable planning. Following other ambitious eco-city projects like Dongtan in China and Masdar in Abu Dhabi this project will cause the carbon emissions of people living there to decline over the next decade."

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